Last year I was inspired by Seth Godin to write an end-of-year review about what you shipped, so it seems proper to do the same thing this year, especially as it’s been quite a different year.
2010 was all about speaking and presentations for me (25 in all) but 2011 was meant to be the year of product; the year of doing, not talking (or not talking as much). So here’s a list of things my team of fab of fab developers, QA, UX and design shipped in the last 12 months:
- The catchily named IPDD (internet paperless Direct Debit), allowing any charity on JG to receive monthly direct debit donations
- Many unseen infrastructure improvements and bug fixes
- A new area to promote giving and a google maps mash-up to help find a charity
- Adding social sharing to one-off and monthly direct donation processes (here was the first tweet for this)
- Lots of tweaks to the JG account area to give better advice to fundraisers
- Log in to JG with Facebook
- New Facebook application to allow sponsors to donate without leaving Facebook, a first. Here’s how it works.
- Quite a few homepage updates, including adding Facebook and Twitter feed (finally – woo!)
- Much improved social sharing after you sponsor someone (‘social sponsorship’) and allowing people to leave their Facebook profile picture on a page. See the hashtag #justsponsored 🙂
- Update to Facebook app to allow people to make one-off or monthly donations on Facebook, and allow charities to add a donation tab to their Facebook pages. Another first!
- And finally, a new design and a few new features for fundraising pages.
Looking back at that, we’ve shipped a lot. And that was just my stream, not including epic projects like JustTextGiving, JustGiving for companies, tons of new API methods, improved in memory products and many more improvements for charities that the other product teams led by Lee and Jamie worked on. It’s safe to say we’ve shipped more this year than any other, and that’s because of a lot of hard work, talent and pain from our brilliant dev team.
I still managed to slip in a few presentations too, but only nine compared to last year’s 25. And for me personally, that was the best thing to look back at: the difference in building and releasing lots of new products. The doing has been really rewarding, and the talking has been even more so, as I’ve been talking about the results of what we’ve been doing: my favourite presentation of the year (yes it’s sad, but I do have a favourite) was packed with numbers and results from many of those products we released this year.
Another notable highlight from 2011 was MC-ing at the JustGiving awards for the second time, a massive privilege and one I’m already excited about doing once more in 2012. I have never been in awe in the presence of a 7 year old boy before, but sharing a stage with Charlie Simpson (who raised £210k for Haiti) was quite something.
(Oh, and I got married to the wonderful Sophie too. It’s safe to say that was the real highlight of the year, or of any year for that matter, so I should probably mention it despite this being about work).
Naturally, all of this is a product of teamwork from lots of very awesome people. So shout outs go to Pedro, Bala, Neil, Rob, David, Jamie, Lee, Ambica, Shashi, Will, Yael, James, Kai, and all the other great people I’ve had the pleasure of working with this year – thanks!
Hopefully 2012 will be as interesting (although I know it will be, as I’ve seen our product roadmap…)
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